Our new room slowly inches towards completion.
Over a month ago, just before we left for Vermont, I reviewed the top three to-do items with our contractor. The real to-do list is much longer but I wanted to emphasize the important items, like getting the heating system turned on. That would make the room livable. Also, having a handrail on the stairs, and any railing at all on our deck, would reduce the general deathiness coefficient of living in our house.
"Not a problem" he assured me. "I've got the handrail ready to go, and I'll have the heat turned on tomorrow."
Given our past experience with our contractor and his mental block with hitting deadlines, I walked away from that conversation knowing only one thing for certain. It was 100% guaranteed that he would not be turning on the heat the following day.
Sure enough, when we got home from Vermont 8 days later, we raced down into the room (using the new handrail!) to see the progress. We found the heating system still not functional. However, what he did leave behind was a couple of fancy space heaters, a note of apology, and a bottle of wine.
The guy can't make a date to save his life, but booze, apologies, and space heaters go a long way towards easing the pain.
So, we've been using that for the last month, and it's worked ok. Space heaters aren't a very efficient way to heat your home, but they're better than shivering while watching A Daily Show. This week, however, IT finally happened. Our contractor finally turned on our radiant floor heating system.
"Ta dah!" I thought. And nothing happened.
As it turns out, flipping the switch on a radiant floor heating system is about the most anti-climactic thing you can imagine. A little red light glowed on the water heater, and it made a slight humming noise, and then a few minutes later you could feel some tepid water moving through the pipes. Then, a mere FIVE HOURS LATER, our room was warm.
Ok, I knew beforehand that radiant floor heating systems were not the fastest way to warm a room, but I didn't know that it was going to take five hours to raise the temperature less than 10 degrees. Five hours?!?! I'm pretty sure that I could heat the room by myself in that amount of time using only my flatulence (assuming a burrito and a glass of milk for lunch).
So, now, each morning, I'm left with a decision. Do I flip the switch on the thermostat and begin the epic process of heating that one room, or do I just wait for summer? So far, it's a close race.